It’s Official: Brian Williams Moves to MSNBC, Apologizes for Losing Audience’s Trust

  • Brian Williams NBC Restructure

It’s official: Brian Williams is moving to MSNBC and Lester Holt will formally replace him as “NBC Nightly News” anchor, NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andrew Lack announced today.

“Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last ten years, and he’s performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances,” Lack said. “He’s an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience. In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads, and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment.”

Holt, who joined NBC in 2000, has been serving as the “Nightly News” anchor since Williams was suspended in February after allegations surfaced that he misrepresented his involvement in a 1993 reporting trip to Iraq.

“I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true,” said Williams. “I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on ‘Nightly News,’ but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it.”

Lack and Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU, have decided that Williams will return to MSNBC — where he worked from 1996 to 2004 — as anchor of breaking news and special reports. He will work with Mark Lukasiewicz, SVP of Special Reports for NBCU News Group.

Burke thanked Holt for stepping “into the anchor chair in a trying time and has really come through for us.”

“We are lucky to have him and I know he will continue to do great things at NBC News for years to come,” he said, adding that “As you would imagine, this was a difficult decision. Brian Williams has been with NBC News for a very long time and he has covered countless news events with honor and skill. As I said in February, we believe in second chances, and I am hopeful that this new beginning will be good for Brian and the organization. This matter has been extensively analyzed and deliberated on by NBC. We are moving forward.”

Matt Lauer has also conducted an interview with Brian Williams. It will air on “Today” on Friday morning and on “NBC Nightly News” on Friday evening.



  1. Americans love to give fallen celebrities a second chance. And God knows MSNBC needs a vigorous shakeup.

    If Lack and the other NBC boffins are smart, they’ll utilize the network’s vast group of affiliates plus foreign correspondents to recreate what CNN in the U.S. long-ago abandoned: in depth coverage of breaking news. CNN Worldwide still does this profitably, but CNN U.S. just covers one topic to death, hour after mind-numbing hour. There’s a lot of news that simply isn’t getting covered.

    Keep time slots open for Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell and turf the rest of the talking heads.

  2. Of course, NBC hired back Brian Williams. If they cut him loose, he would have defected to CNN or Fox in a heartbeat and then kicked their ass in the ratings.

    We like Brian Williams, in spite of the tendency to lie. People will watch him in MSNBC, guaranteed !
    He might even return to Nightly News, one day, kind of like how Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees, in spite of being “A-Roid.”

  3. Should have included Morning Joe in the list of keepers for ailing MSNBC. Joe, Mika and their panels knock the daylights out of those dim bulbs on Fox and Friends.


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